Men regularly attacked at cruising spots in Noord-Brabant
Men visiting gay cruising spots throughout Noord-Brabant have been terrorized by groups of young people for months. They've been attacked, assaulted, tasered, pepper-sprayed and had items thrown at them. Last week Thursday, the police arrested four young men aged 18 and 19, two from Herpen, one from Oss, and one from Berghem, in connection with some of these attacks, Brabants Dagblad reported.
"I think that's the worst thing that they went there with batons, with pepper spray and with a taser," a spokesperson for the Keelbos Foundation, which represents the interests of people who use gay meeting places, said to the newspaper after a recent attack in Reek. "It's not only bad in Reek, we are also receiving more and more reports in other places. We are very busy with it. We talk to the people, provide information. We hope that a report will be filed, because that rarely happens."
"It's been miserable here for months. An acquaintance of mine was pelted with eggs, he showed me the bruises. When I was in Reek a few weeks ago, someone ran out of the bushes in a panic, right through the brambles. He had been threatened and verbally abused, and ran, for his life, right through the brambles. He was covered in blood," the spokesperson said. "Someone had just left who had been sprayed with pepper spray, I was talking about that with another visitor. Cars were smeared with pizza and milkshakes. They once tried to block the exit of the parking lot, so that the visitors could not leave."
LGBTQ+ interest organization COC is aware of the violence at cruising spots. "This is not spontaneous violence, as happens in the nightlife crowd, in this situation it was deliberately sought out. People went there, with serious items, to commit serious violence. That is shocking," Geert Glaudemans of COC Noord-Oost-Brabant said to the newspaper.
According to COC, most users of cruising spots won't report being harassed or attacked. "Because they are in a different situation at home. They are married, have a family, are looking for an outlet or love excitement. People with a big wallet could move to a hotel, but these kinds meeting places will always exist. Municipalities do not like to recognize them, and they are often under tension, because the site is also used by other visitors for other purposes. But if a gay meeting place is closed, there will always be another place," Glaudemans said.